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an optimistic note about the way forward, as did speaker boehner after the meeting. >> my hope is that this is going to be the beginning of a fruitful process where we're able to come to an agreement that will reduce our deficit in a balanced way. >> to show our seriousness, we have put revenue on the table as long as it's accompanied by significant spending cuts. >> nbc's mike viqueira joins us live from the white house. mike, are there any signs, i have to put this to you, that the president may be able to persuade republicans at least to maintain the bush tax cuts on those making less than $250,000 a year? is there any sign that he's going to be able to persuade them on that? >> reporter: well, i think that he would be able to persuade them to extend those tax cuts, but he may not be able to persuade them to decouple them from those making more than $250,000 a year, martin. i don't mean to be flip, but that does remain at the end of the day here after the big root velt room photo-op the main sticking point. it's clear democrats feel they have the upper hand as do democrats h
and the ongoing relationship with boehner and mcconnell because he's going to have to be a different kind of leader with them. he talked about it in the press conference a bit the other day. he needs to reach out to them the way he's reached out to people on staten island and dealt with the two governors, christie and cuomo, who are two pretty demanding guys as well. and based on their public and private comments have been very happy with the president's leadership and his government. >> i just wonder if it's fair to make a parallel when you look at the president's response to sandy which has had and continues to have just devastating effects on the economy for businesses and the reaction to the bp oil spill which seemed slow in coming because that was devastating as well to a different part of the country. >> he certainly was. he was very slow to respond to people in the gulf coast. >> in terms of appearances. >> i think things have changed, though, over the past couple years. and i suspect that, you know, even the president's closest allies will say that it was a very hard adjustment go
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